When I was a child I had to walk seven miles every morning to catch a bus that drove me another fifty miles to get to my school. It didn’t matter if it was snowing, raining, or hailing outside. The saddest part of all was the fact that the school was only about five miles away to start with.
Seriously though, I did have to walk, with my sister, about 2 miles and pretty much enjoyed every minute of it. Of course, we lived on a farm so we had to get to the highway where the bus could pick us up. We were very fortunate to have had that experience because nowadays most of our kids have to walk past the potential of drugs deals, street violence, and sexual offenders. It is more important now than ever before that we take our cities, and our children’s paths to school, back. Supporting Walk To School Day is a large step forward in doing that.
Walk To School Day came out of Safe Kids Walk supported by FedEx. Over 8.2 million children have participated since it started in 1999. 16,000 FedEx employees have been involved with 10,000 schools making the program work. In fact, I have had some 23 years of experience with schools and know there is a place for this, and it serves a good purpose. We do need to make the paths to our schools safe again. No government, no school board, no policeman, is going to be able to do that, only we can make that change happen.
Now I know, we adults deserve our own time, work is important and we have all that shopping to do… but what’s most dear to us… all that stuff, or our children. This is not a day to hand them lunch and send them on their way, this is a day to walk with them, see what they see every day and what they have to contend with. In short, it should be what our parents did for us and what we expect of our children when they become parents.
Remember when Halloween use to be safe? Why isn’t it anymore? Is it because there are so many crazy people out there, in part… yes… but it’s also because we allow them to be out there and it’s something we need to be more aware of.
How to celebrate – Walk your kids to school today, or walk them home tonight, or better yet… both! Learn what school programs are in place and if there aren’t any, get them started! Don’t just suggest it to someone else like it is their job to do it, do it yourself! Help take our communities back from those who would use it for their ends, not ours!